Essential Viewing: 11 Anya Taylor-Joy Movies and TV Shows You Must See

Spoilers

It’s rare to watch an actor’s star rise in real-time, but that is precisely what is happening with Anya Taylor-Joy.

The actress has nary a single project in her resume that wasn’t loved by critics and audiences alike, save for a big-budget script or two.

With barely an entire decade under her belt, Anya Taylor-Joy already has thirty-nine nominations, including fifteen wins, three of which are a Golden Globe, a Critic’s Choice Aware, and a Screen Actor’s Guild award.

Not too bad, considering she’s not even thirty yet. She’s made some significant moves and has quickly solidified herself as one of Hollywood’s most talented young actors.

From protecting the Mushroom Kingdom to questionable fine dining, Anya Taylor-Joy has embarked on various roles. Whether it’s just her voice or a full view of her stealing every scene with her piercing gaze, the actress has the skill of someone with decades of experience.

We’ve assembled some of the heavy hitters from her film catalog just in time for her starring role in Furiosa: A Mad Max Saga to prove just how far the actress has come in just a short time.

When asked for early reactions about Anya Taylor-Joy as Furiosa, this is what critics had to say.

“Sensational.” – Doug Jamieson, The Jame Report

“Fantastic.” – Josh Horowitz, MTV

nya Taylor-Joy attends the Australian premiere of "Furiosa: A Mad Max Saga"

“Anya Taylor-Joy makes Furiosa her own in an often silent yet deafeningly loud physical performance (while still paying more than a little homage to Charlize before the end.)” – David Crow, Den of Geek

“Anya Talor-Joy owns.” – Bill Bria, Slashfilm.

So, hold on to your popcorn because this wild ride will be bumpy, but we promise it’s worth the risk when you see that Anya Talor-Joy has a little something for everyone.

The Miniaturist (2017)

Role: Petronella “Nella” Brandt. Available for purchase.

Petronella "Nella" Brandt - Anya Taylor-Joy - The Miniaturist - 2017

While this certainly wasn’t the actress’s first foray into acting, it was a pivotal role as she starred as the lead and amazed viewers.

This 3-episode miniseries centers around Joy’s character of Nella after she is wedded to a merchant named Johannes to clear her family’s debt. As she starts her new life as a wife, Nella receives miniature figurines with cryptic notes depicting future events.

Anya plays Petronella with the perfect amount of naivete, allowing audiences to sympathize with her situation. Throughout the series, we see her character grow from a girl to a strong woman who does what she can to save her new family.

This series will be a hit for viewers who enjoy period pieces with heavy drama and tense familial drama, such as this, and other romantic period dramas like The Essex Serpent.

Peaky Blinders (2019-2022)

Role: Gina Gray. Available to stream on Netflix.

Gina Gray - Anya Taylor-Joy - Peaky Blinders - 2019 to 2022

Few shows can boast the longevity and star-studded power of Peaky Blinders, but with the writing to back it up, it’s no wonder actors of Cillian Murphy’s caliber have appeared in the hit British crime drama.

Peaky Blinders set itself in 1919 after the First World War, focusing on Thomas Shelby, played by Cillian Murphy, who runs the titular gang. Thomas has ambitions beyond that of a gang leader, and when a crate of guns goes missing, he sees an opportunity to advance in the world.

Anya Taylor-Joy portrays Gina Gray with all the cunning and survival instincts that were afforded women of that time. Depicted as an antagonist, Gina does the title justice, showing little empathy for other characters while continuously manipulating her husband.

Another period piece from the actress, though much more rooted in criminal activities, this miniseries will appeal to audiences that enjoy drama that revolves around real-world events or shows like Taboo.

The Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance (2019)

Role: Brea. Available to stream on Netflix.

Brea - Anya Taylor-Joy - The Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance - 2019

A prequel to one of Jim Henson’s most beloved works, The Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance, was a hit with critics and audiences despite receiving only one season. It’s a shame, considering it combined the talents of Taron Egerton and Nathalie Emmanuel with Anya Taylor Joy’s.

This one-season wonder follows three Gelflings, Rian, Brea, and Deet, who start a rebellion on their planet of Thra after discovering a terrible secret about their customarily worshipped rulers, the Skeksis, that could lead to the destruction of their home world.

Playing the character of Princess Brea, Joy imbues the character with a deep sense of intelligence and cunning that the royal Gelfling uses on her journey with Rian and Deet.

Though the character has familial issues of her own, in the end, she leads with her heart above all else.

Hailing from the great mind of Jim Henson, this series is excellent to watch with the whole family. If you love an adventure filled with plenty of magic and fun characters to root for, check out The Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance and Once Upon a Time.

The Queen’s Gambit (2020)

Role: Beth Harmon. Available to stream on Netflix.

Anya Taylor-Joy on Queen's Gambit

This sleeper series hit hard. 2020 was a rough year for people worldwide but a good year for streaming.

The Queen’s Gambit, in particular, found an immediate fan base within its first week of release, catapulting Anya Taylor-Joy’s star power.

Set in the 50s to 60s, the story follows Beth Harmon, an orphan who develops an interest in chess fueled by drugs and alcohol. After being adopted, her new mother helps her become a rising star in competitive chess.

Anya Taylor-Joy plays the lead character with all the grace and talent of someone far too experienced for the role. It quickly becomes apparent why this was Joy’s last television venture as this series solidified her stunningly skilled actress.

Plenty of period pieces are on this list, but this one in particular has the versatility of appealing to viewers who don’t regularly enjoy these types of dramas. However, they will be glad they watched this and similar shows like Anne With an E.

The Witch (2015)

Role: Thomasin. Available to watch on Max.

Thomasin - Anya Taylor joy - The Witch - 2015

Anya Talor-Joy’s first venture onto the silver screen was met with controversy.

Thankfully, none of it was about the actress herself but instead the film’s premise. The actress was instead met with positive review after positive review.

In 1630, a small Puritan family was exiled from their village and forced to live in a secluded cabin in the woods.

After the youngest of the family goes missing, the eldest daughter, Thomasin, is blamed. As strange events begin to arise, Thomasin is soon suspected of witchcraft.

Joy’s character of Thomasin was very well received by critics and audiences. The film showcased the powerhouse of the young budding actress at the time. Her innocence and sincerity are felt throughout the movie from beginning to end.

Witches and magic are story elements that never goes out of style, and while there have been hundreds of reinterpretations,

The Witch has become a cult classic in its own right. If you enjoy this movie, check out similar shows like Mayfair Witches and A Discovery of Witches.

Split (2016)

Role: Casey Cooke. Available to watch on Netflix.

Casey Cooke - Anya Taylor-Joy - Split - 2016

Less than a year after her big screen debut, Joy starred in the next installment in the Unbreakable Trilogy. Whoever is handling the roles brought to Anya needs a raise because this was yet another movie in her career that was a box-office hit.

Split focuses on James McAvoy’s Kevin, who struggles with his 23 personalities.

All the while, there is a 24th personality that threatens to rule over the other 23. After Kevin abducts three teenage girls, the barriers in his mind keeping the personalities at bay begin to shatter.

Joy plays Casey Cooke with all the willfulness and strength afforded to a young girl fighting for survival.

The actress herself said that she found it easier to ground her character against McAvoy’s wild and unpredictable personas in the film.

Split is a tense psychological thriller that will have viewers at the edge of their seats in anticipation of each moment in this wild ride of a film. If you enjoy this movie, check out a show similar to Yellowjackets.

The New Mutants (2020)

Role: Illyana Rasputin/Magik’

Illyana Rasputin/Magik - Anya Taylor-Joy - The New Mutants - 2020

Not every chance is a hit, but it’s certainly not for a lack of trying.

This film had a rocky start before it even made it to theaters after being delayed four times. Critics and viewers were not too happy, but Joy delivered a solid performance.

When five young mutants are brought together in a secret institution that will supposedly cure them under the care of Dr. Cecilia Rayes, Mirage, Cannonball, Sunspot, and Wolfsbane must come to terms with their pasts before it catches up to them as their reality takes a horrifying turn.

Taking elements from the archetypal bad girl, Illyana doesn’t waste a moment to infuse every situation with sarcasm and snark.

She acts as the mean girl foil of the newest teen mutant, but through her rough exterior, she is traumatized, working through the demons that still haunt her.

Superhero movies are more prevalent than ever, and while this one comes with the bonus of a few scares, there’s still the coming-of-age aspect that audiences will find endearing. Check out The New Mutants and shows similar to it, like The Gifted and Runaways.

Last Night in Soho (2021)

Role: Sandie. Available to watch on Amazon Prime.

Sandie - Anya Taylor-Joy - Last Night in Soho - 2021

Unfortunately, this glittering depiction of the world of fashion in both the present and the 1960s has flown under the radar, which is a shame because this psychological horror manages some legitimate scares and perfectly balanced storytelling.

Last Night in Soho follows a young aspiring fashion designer, Ellie, who is inexplicably able to travel to the 1960s to see the life and events of a wannabe singer, Sandie. However, the lines between Ellie’s reality and Sandie’s memories begin to fracture, resulting in a horrifying result.

Joy plays Sandie with an abundance of charm, wit, and tenacity, leaving viewers wanting more each time Ellie witnesses Sandie’s memories.

The role is an excellent showcase of Anya’s versatility, quickly moving between victim and victimizer.

If you enjoy twisty and trippy psychological horrors with striking visuals, be sure to watch Last Night in Soho. Other shows that deal with ghosts and getting everything you want, like The Fall of the House of Usher, are also worth watching.

The Menu (2022)

Role: Margot/Erin. Available for rent or purchase.

Margot/Erin - Anya Taylor-Joy - The Menu - 2022

After this dark comedy, you’ll never look at the food and service industry the same way. No, seriously. Tip your servers.

If you’re one of the few who have yet to view this remarkable film, you are in for a treat as Joy, Ralph Fiennes, and Nicholas Hoult serve a five-star experience.

When a couple travels to a coastal island to enjoy a one-of-a-kind menu at the hands of the restaurant’s prestigious chef, the diners get the experience of a lifetime as each guest must come to terms with the crimes and secrets of their pasts.

Margot/Eri n is the epitome of the “final girl” from any show or movie.

She works through her initial naivete by deciding her outcome. Anya’s portrayal of the character is spun from intelligence, cleverness, and all the aspects that make for an exciting survivor.

This black comedy is a star-studded romp that will have any viewer laughing at the darkest moments through the film’s perfect balance of humor and tension. For more stories about the darker side of food service, check out this film and similar show, The Bear.

The Super Mario Bros. Movie (2023)

Role: Princess Peach. Available to watch on Netflix.

Princess Peach - Anya Taylor-Joy - The Super Mario Bros. Movie - 2023

You can’t go wrong with mushrooms. Unless you’re allergic, then be sure to enjoy them only in the cinematic sense.

You might not know it because of its animated nature, but The Super Mario Bros. Movie packs a cast of some of the best voice actors in Hollywood.

Going back to the origins of two plumber brothers, The Super Mario Bros. Movie tells the tale of how Mario and Luigi find themselves in the Mushroom Kingdom and how they help its ruler, Princess Peach, save her land from the Koopas and their tyrannical leader, Bowser.

Princess Peach has gone through many makeovers through the years.

Initially depicted as the typical damsel in distress, this character iteration isn’t waiting to be saved. Joy does a fantastic job of using her voice to portray Peach’s strength and fighting spirit.

Time-honored childhood classics will always have an audience, whether they are adults reliving nostalgia or younger viewers discovering beloved characters for the first time. If you enjoy this movie, see similar projects like Knuckles.

Furiosa: A Mad Max Saga (2024)

Role: Imperator Furiosa. Available in theaters May 24, 2024.

Imperator Furiosa - Anya Taylor-Joy - Furiosa: A Mad Max Saga - 2024

Though the sequels are coming out fifteen years after the last, that has hardly stopped audiences from clamoring to the theaters for this fully loaded franchise.

If this prequel sequel is anything like its predecessor, viewers will be more than pleased with this installment.

This post-apocalyptic action adventure film tells the story of Joy’s Furiosa as she goes from being snatched from her home into a warlord-led biker gang. Traveling through the wasteland, Furiosa soon finds herself in a never-ending battle to find her way home.

Initially portrayed by Charlize Theron, Joy takes up the role of the fictional character in this story, where she starts and ends up where she is in the Mad Max Saga.

This wild ride through a post-apocalyptic and dystopian wasteland will be an adventure that will not soon be forgotten in the young actress’s career.

Be sure to catch it in theaters, and in the meantime, check out similar shows like Fallout.

Anya Taylor-Joy’s star is shining bright and fast as the actress continues not only to take on more significant and more prominent roles but continuously portrays her characters in a way that earns her accolades from some of the biggest industries in entertainment,

Which of Anya Talyor-Joy’s roles were your favorites?

Are you excited to see her play the role of Furiosa?

Drop a comment below to let us know.

Joshua Pleming is a staff writer for TV Fanatic. You can follow him on X.

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